Fast Forward some 15 years after receiving the Egri book from her, I returned it to her (along with what I thought was a witty missive) when I was on the lot for a few months doing a consulting gig for Paramount's legal group. She had no idea who I was. Plus, I think she even had her assistant call security which is sort of like turning out the dogs on a peddler of magical potions. All this after I seriously saved her bacon (financially speaking, of course; it's not like she was hanging gutted swine on her Beverly Hills estate in the smokehouse out back of her manse) because she had no "real" means of income to verify. I was able to finesse her loan through committee, in spite of some very skeptical underwriters.
If life is a 3-act, then I'm certainly at the end of my 2nd act (and it has not gone swimmingly well to be honest). In all solid yarns, the 1st act has a good initial hook to keep 'em interested. I like to think that mine was along those lines (don't we all think that our early years are interesting?). I showed some real promise once upon a time, and thought the world would be mine for the asking/taking/grabbing of the brass ring ... now however it looks more like the world is mine for the settling/begging/backing into. No worries though, God is good, and I know that hard work is rewarded.
There are some amazing second acts out there for our example. (I suppose the metaphor breaks down here a bit, but let's press on shall we?) Let's look at a quick few:
- Industrialist Henry Ford -- 20 years after Ford left home to become a machinist apprentice (and later an engineer for Edison), Henry founded his first auto company. He and Edison would become very good friends, and I have seen the jar which held Edison's last breath, that Ford personally requested, which is housed at the Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.
- Entrepreneur Colonel Sanders -- Started selling franchises at age 65 with $105 from his first Social Security check to fund his endeavors. He would soon become a millionaire after selling the parent corporation along with US rights (he retained the Canadian rights for himself). I have personally enjoyed way too much of his finger-lickin' poulet oeuvre -- trust me, it's good.
- Actor Steve Bescemi -- Former NY firefighter.
- Writer John Grisham -- Former attorney.
- Entrepreneur Steve Jobs -- College drop-out, fired in disgrace from Apple, only to return to lead Apple and Pixar to their current design, creative and financial apogee.
- Actor Dennis Farina -- Former Chicago police officer.
- Governors Ventura and Schwarzenegger -- Former meat head steroid body builder/ wrestler with crazy accents. (Good gawd how did they get elected? Oh, wait, I voted for one of these guys.)
- Writer J.K. Rowling -- Former researcher teacher (and on welfare).
- Writer Tom Clancy -- Former insurance agent.
If America, and Steve Bescemi, and J.K. Rowling can do it, perhaps we all have a second act in us?